Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Malaysia's one million job vacancies! A quick fix we may rue!





One million jobs to be filled by Malaysians before foreigners are made offers

By ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD zuhrinazam@thestar.com.my

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 1,051,427 job vacancies have been listed by eight ministries and related agencies to be filled by Malaysians before the remaining vacancies are offered to illegal immigrants granted amnesty under the Government's legalisation programme.

Workers are needed in five main sectors manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, construction and production.

Home Ministry senior deputy secretary-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim said the International Trade and Industry Ministry listed the highest need with 275,723 vacancies.

Other vacancies were recorded by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, Home Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Transport Ministry and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

He said the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry needed 237,700 workers, followed by Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (220,000), CIDB (165,000), Plantation Industries and Commodities (140,000), Home (10,000), Tourism (2,041) and Transport (963).

“These statistics were part of the feedback from the ministries and their related agencies during a meeting of the 6P amnesty programme chaired by the secretary-general (Tan Sri Mahmood Adam) on Monday.

“It was revealed that the five sectors, indeed, use huge foreign labour,” he said.

Alwi said all the vacancies would be advertised in several local newspapers in stages, beginning tomorrow.

“The jobs will first be offered to Malaysians before any remaining vacancies are opened to foreign workers.

“As such, Malaysians, especially the unemployed, are urged to take up the opportunities which will also support the Government's effort to reduce dependency on foreign workers,” he said yesterday.

Alwi said the next step in the process would be to match the demand from employers with the list of illegals who have registered under the 6P programme.

As of yesterday, a total of 2,210,235 legal workers and illegal immigrants had registered under the 6P programme, which consists of registration, legalisation, amnesty, supervision, enforcement and deportation.

Alwi said 1,215,004 were illegal immigrants and urged those who had yet to register to do so before the exercise ends on Aug 31.

“The ministry would also like to stress that illegals who registered with the programme will not be arrested,” he said.

MTUC: Better perks needed to attract locals

By ISABELLE LAI isabellelai@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: The Government must improve salaries and benefits of blue-collar workers if it wants to attract locals and reduce the country's dependence on foreign workers.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) vice-president Mohd Roszali Majid welcomed the Government's announcement that the over one million job vacancies it had identified would be offered to locals first.

 
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 Just do it: Mustafa tells locals to “meet the challenge”.

The 1,051,427 job vacancies are in five main sectors manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, construction and production.

Roszali said the Government must improve the “overall package” for local workers including housing, medical, and transport benefits.

National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) secretary-general Datuk G. Sankaran urged the Government to set a decent salary for plantation workers as there was no replacement for older workers who had retired.

“Young people prefer factory jobs but there are so many vacancies in plantations. We badly need local workers,” he said.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur urged local workers to “meet the challenge”.

He said higher salaries would depend on their skills, pointing out that highly-skilled construction and factory workers in Europe were well-paid.

“If they don't take up the jobs, we will continue to have a problem of too many foreign workers in the country,” he said.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he hoped the Government would proactively find Malaysians to fill the vacancies and not just pay “lip service” by hiring illegal immigrants instead.

He said the Government had to try and encourage locals to venture into these job sectors, especially unemployed youths.

Jobstreet.com country manager Chook Yuh Yng said locals were likely to take up these jobs if the wages were fair.

She said this was imperative as the cost of living was going up.

Recruiter Royce Cheah said locals in rural areas should be more willing to take up these jobs.


 A quick fix we may rue

 MALAYSIA has come a long way after getting independence. It’s going to be 54 years. There has been growth and prosperity. We are supposed to be heading towards a high income economy. I wish we can achieve it.

But look at the number of legal and illegal foreign workers in Malaysia. There are probably over three million of them. It is alarming and is a cause for concern. Malaysia has become a haven for foreign workers.

The influx of illegal and legal workers is a serious matter and we should stop our over-dependence on them.

If those who enter the workforce are professionals, highly skilled and come with funds to invest, I reckon it’s acceptable. Unfortunately, we have become a dumping ground in every way, including a transit point for human trafficking and drugs.

We are also gaining mileage as a destination for immoral activities. I can’t blame the culprits. Some of our law enforcers have been complacent and lackadaisical in executing their duties. Where is the patriotism?

There are loopholes and flaws in our system that even the foreigners, especially the illegal immigrants, are aware of. Otherwise how can they get away with falsifying identity cards and passports? They know how to hoodwink our enforcers.

Perhaps some of our enforcers themselves are working hand in glove with these illegals.

I’m not against foreign workers. But their inflow needs to be checked before they become a burden and a menace. In the name of globalisation and wanting revenue from tourism, we are importing a lot of unwanted elements into our country.

Social ills and disharmony are already prevalent at a worrisome level. It’s okay to sympathise with the plight of foreign workers but soon we might be at their mercy. Soon they will be fighting for their rights, and probably appeal to the Human Rights Commission.

I hope the policy makers can see the consequences. Rigid regulations and stern actions are necessary. I reckon we need a special task force to oversee this issue. Nipping it in the bud is the best solution.

Hopefully, the biometric registration will assist in getting a real picture of our country’s predicament. If the inflow of foreign workers is not checked, it’s going to cause a lot of headaches for Malaysia.

Come the festive and public holidays, many major cities and towns will be flooded with them. They will reflect our nation’s identity and image. What a way to advertise the country.

The disadvantages of employing foreign workers far outweigh the advantages in the long run. From the employers’ point of view, they desperately need the foreign workers.

This situation has been created by the employers themselves. Foreign labour is a quick fix for their woes. The employers pay them low wages and provide them with deplorable working conditions. Their accommodation is atrocious.

It’s time employers are committed to the social and economic growth of the nation as a whole. Their greed and self-centredness are certainly going to be stumbling blocks to making Malaysia a high income nation.
It is time employers start doing away with labour-intensive work methods.

PATRIOT,
Sungai Petani, Kedah.